Cliff Place in the Mesa Verde,colorado

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
Mesa Verde (m´ så vûrd) National Park is in the southwest corner of Colorado. The word "mesa" means table. "Verde" is the Spanish word for green. The mesas, when looked at from a distance, might suggest tables with cloths dropping over their sides. The Mesa Verde has trees and shrubs beside it. Hence the use of the descriptive word "verde." The Mesa Verde is 15 miles long and 8 miles wide. At its foot are piles of broken rocks which rise to a height of 500 feet above the bare plains roundabout. These rocks are called talus (t´ ls). The Mesa Verde rises above these rocky foothills 200 or 300 feet. It is on the bank of the Mancos River, to which beds of former streams cut narrow, irregular canyons (kn´ yn) . In the side of one of these canyons are the cliff dwellings you see here. These are the best preserved in America. Who lived here, nobody knows, but many guesses have been made. They perhaps were Indians, or perhaps a race that thrived before the Indians. These people may have been related to the Aztecs of Mexico, or to the present Pueblos of the southwestern United States. While we do not know who they were, we can judge from the remains of their civilization what they did. They built their cliff houses along the steep walls of the canyons for protection. They were farmers, tilling their small fields of corn. This corn they ground between flat stones, and they baked their bread on flat stones. They had stone and clay vessels, well made, and often artistically decorated. They had no written language, but used only a few signs which are still to be seen on the cliffs. They worshipped the sun. The temple to the sun was unearthed in 1915. Keystone ID: 8014 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.